Star dressed as snowman crashes $393k Lamborghini into home
The profits of East London's fancy-dress shops might take a battering - but David Moyes means business.
When West Ham forward Michail Antonio ploughed his $A393,000 Lamborghini into a front-garden wall while wearing a snowman costume on Christmas Day, it was clear that something had to change.
Just days later, after a 2-1 home defeat by Leicester left the Hammers only a point clear of the relegation zone, boss Manuel Pellegrini was sacked and replaced by his predecessor Moyes.
After Moyes had taken his first training session back at West Ham's Rush Green training base this week, he described the task in front of him as a case of 'deja vu'.
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Just as when he replaced Slaven Bilic on a six-month contract in November 2017, Moyes inherits an underachieving side, fighting relegation because of a basic lack of discipline, fitness and workrate.
Moyes, 56, felt he deserved a longer-term stab at the job last time.
Instead, Hammers owners David Gold and David Sullivan snubbed him for veteran Pellegrini - the Chilean with the charisma bypass who blew £183m on transfers and failed to fulfil their ambitions.
Moyes was beaming after being presented with an 18-month deal to settle unfinished business at the London Stadium.
But the message to his players was stark: Get fit, work hard, behave yourselves - and forget the Mr Benn shenanigans.
Asked whether Antonio's disastrous dressing-up session suggested the need for basic discipline, Moyes replied: "That was probably one of the biggest jobs I had when I came in last time - to make sure there was zero tolerance of that.
"I am going back to that level to say, 'This is how it's going to be'. You either get on board or you don't, because I haven't got enough time and enough games. If one or two of you don't like it, then sorry.
"I've come in today and it feels like deja vu. I actually thought that I had got rid of those things.
"Last time, there was quite a bit of 'You're doing the work,' that was non-negotiable, but I might have to go back to the start and say, 'We're back here'. I'd have liked to have come in with a new message.
"What I do believe is that we have got a stronger and better squad now. I think getting the right balance and formation is something we will need to work on."
When Moyes saved West Ham from the drop two seasons ago, his most impressive feat was turning Marko Arnautovic from a moody troublemaker into a serious top-level performer.
Asked whether fitness levels needed to be improved again, Moyes said: "Well last time that was it. I couldn't tell you whether that is one of the issues this year, it certainly was last time.
"You mentioned Marko Arnautovic, the transformation in Marko last time was nearly from zero out of ten to ten out of ten, it was so big. This time, I don't think it would be wrong to say we want them all to jump up a couple of pegs."
Several stars including Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals, have all failed to consistently live up to their price tags.
And Moyes has singled out skipper Mark Noble as an example of the level of workrate and desire he expects from his squad.
The former Everton and Manchester United boss said: "To be fair to the owners they've spent well. But I'll be saying, 'Come on, who is going to stand up? Who is going to get the jersey?'.
"There's a good squad here. It will be very difficult on what I see to name my first XI because some weeks they play very well, some weeks they don't. It's about finding a level of consistency and I'm really putting it out there - it's for the players to grab the shirt and say, 'I'm keeping this'.
"You look at Mark Noble and he shows why it's good to always have some of your own players. It's a really big thing.
"We need them to carry that on to the next generation, just like I do with people who we want to develop into future West Ham coaches or managers.
"Mark has done brilliantly. He carries a lot of the responsibility for this club, he takes it, he feels it. He's so desperate and so fed up having to scrap around the bottom. He wants to be playing with teams who are winning, competing higher up the league.
"We do need to share that responsibility and we need to make sure we have the future ones, so when Mark steps away or is missing for a few games, we have others who can step in.
"Of course, we all want the sugar on top of the cake, we want exciting players, nice names who sound really good. We also want something we know gives us a level of consistency most Saturdays.
"You need four or five players who are giving you seven out of ten, eight out of ten, most Saturdays. You can't have a two out of ten, then a nine out of ten once every so often.
"Last time we just avoided relegation, now where was the stability? Could we stabilise this, making it consistent West Ham, reliable West Ham, do all the fundamentals right like discipline?"
No abominable snowman routines with Moyes, then, for starters.
This article was originally published by The Sun and reproduced with permission.